Yemeni fighters dying in Iraq [Archives:2007/1019/Local News]

January 25 2007

SANA'A, Jan. 23 ) There have been 153 Yemeni fighters killed in Iraq according to media reports released this week.

It's is thought that there are 1289 Yemeni militants from different jihadist groups in the war-torn country and the report says 550 Yemeni fighters are from Sana'a.

Security sources told local media that a number of Islamic associations and groups that include extremist elements, who returned from Afghanistan, as well as other elements from the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army. The army is thought to have helped provide a cover for Al-Qaeda operations in Yemen last year.

In its latest issue, Al-Tajamu Weekly said that security reports indicate that extremist elements having links with Al-Hikma Association, affiliated with the Yemeni Islah Party in Aden, Abyan and Sana'a, provided money and logistic aids to Al-Qaeda leaders from Yemen and Saudi Arabia to recruit fighters and smuggle them into Iraq.

An Al-Hikma Association official was arrested over his involvement in providing facilitations to get one of his accomplices into Iraq. However, Al-Tajamu Newspaper mentioned that this man was released following intervention by senior security leaders.

The media reports revealed that Al-Qaeda depended on individuals and groups adopting Al-Qaeda's philosophy to launch its operations, adding that the organization succeeded in selecting and recruiting militants.

Most Al-Qaeda leaders have managed to escape security authorities, according to the reports indicating that most of those arrested by police are young recruits and there is only one Al-Qaeda leader, a Saudi citizen, in detention.

The prominent Al-Qaeda leader, Fahd Al-Saodi, has departed from Yemen, but some news reported he was killed by the U.S. Army in Iraq last December. A U.S. Army statement read that the dangerous Al-Qaeda leaders are leaving Iraq as they felt they are under surveillance and could easily be captured.

Security reports disclosed that most of the Sana'a jihadist elements live in Mosaik district, in the eastern part of the city. This area is home to the group of Jarallah Al-Sa'awani, who assassinated the assistant secretary-general of Yemeni Socialist Party Jarallah Omar.